The Old Basecamp

From Lennox Head I turned west walking back up into the Byron Hinterland and stayed with my brother’s family for a few nights. They live on a macadamia plantation, surrounded by macas and tall native trees. All day the birds sing. It is a very relaxing place.

I call it Basecamp. It is also SoundLife Audio where my brother works as a music composer and sound engineer. Sil has a Nia dance and movement therapy studio down stairs, as part of I Am Strong , which is also the meditation room looking out at the trees through the floor to ceiling windows.

Chewy the dog, Pearl the cat and I spent a lot of time sitting in the sun on the balcony.

It was only a rest from walking. I had a lot of admin and PR to catch up on and send ahead. I was also lucky to be one of the judges for the Travel Play Live Women’s Adventure Grant. My brother showed me how to watch the video submissions in his studio. I tell you what! There are a lot of amazing women doing amazing things. I wish them all the best of luck in their projects. You can read about the winning adventures at Travel Play Live

While in the Byron Hinterland I was interviewed on ABC local radio and filmed by NBN Northern Rivers (click the link to watch the story). I scored the local media jackpot, so to speak, newspaper, radio and TV! This doesn’t happen very often, only once before and twice since.

I have described in past posts that I have a pelvic injury from the walk. It played up the day I left Lismore. It was aggravated by two things. Firstly, it was my fault but I’ll blame someone else, I stood for almost 2 hrs with the pack on while Ganja Gandalf wanted to tell me his life story, dance and play me a song, locals might know who I’m talking about without using his real nickname. I didn’t dare put down the pack in case he took it as a sign to keep talking and if I left the pack on I could grab the first opportunity to politely go which took almost 2 hours. Secondly, the balance of my pelvis is tenuous (pun intended) and a misstep on uneven ground is enough to trigger spasms. This happened several times within 5kms and by dusk I was in so much agony I thought I was going to collapse.

I stopped at a tiny church just out of Lismore on the river, stretched, took pain killers and had a look around for a place to hammock. As I shuffled back to my pack at the gate I saw my brother drive past. What! Just as I waved he spotted me and came back. Steve and Sil were looking for me, I had left my pen and very important notebook at Basecamp. The relief of having somewhere to go and recover for another 2 days was too much on top of the pain, the tears I was fighting flowed.

The coastline south of Cape Byron is familiar as I have previously walked most of it alone between there and Bairnsdale in Victoria. This area in particular was a marine mammal conservation walk from Coffs Harbour to Cape Byron early 2010. For this reason I made the call to skip a day of the walk and go to Black Rocks. I actually went to Evans Head to seek permission to walk the 12kms of coast past the Airforce bombing range if they were not practicing. They weren’t but were not going to make any exceptions either. Oh well.

Black Rocks is really beautiful! Did you know there are some walk in/paddle in sites up near the end of the Jerusalem Creek Walk? They are not maintained but the roos and wallabies help keep the grass down. There was a lot of wildlife along here including a distracted echidna and dramatically windswept trees.

The strangest (non-human) thing I have seen in a while were the leaning stones. The wind was fierce and the coast had been lashed by weeks of storms. The beach pebbles had been pushed up and the sand carved out to hold them all facing the same direction at the same angle. It felt like they were all looking out to sea waiting for someone or something. Fascinating.

There were many species of shore birds at the mouth of Jerusalem Creek who were reasonably tolerant of my presence. 3 different species of terns, both species of oyster catchers, gulls, dotterels, plovers, stints, sanderlings, snipes and a family of beach stone curlews. I could have spent all day watching them.

Black Rocks is named for the colour of the black rock outcrops along the receding dunes. These were formed by ancient decomposed forests. The rock is softer than sandstone and feels damp, the storm was eroding a lot of it away at the time I visited resulting in dark stained sea foam and tide lines.

There are places of incredible Natural beauty I look forward to visiting again. This is one of them.